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The Day Today at 30

Started by lauraxsynthesis, January 19, 2024, 02:49:45 PM

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lauraxsynthesis


Thursday

Posting in both threads to confuse the merging.

GoblinAhFuckScary

literally like a month off being my exact age

prelektric

Who will be merged? (!) When will they be merged? (!)

A seminal moment of televisual viewing for me as a 15 year old, I had no idea that this smart, hilarious parody, performed by a talented bunch of performers would lead me down a path that, over the decades, would lead me... here. Oh.

But let's celebrate anyway - it's worth it.

The Late Satoru Iwata

Where next for man raised by puffins?

(I like saying things from my favourite comedies verbatim. It's what makes me funny)

jamiefairlie

I first heard this in Florida. I bought the tape version as something to listen to in the plane and listened to it over and over by the pool. It was eye opening to a style of comedy that hit me right in the gut. I have such a vivid memory of hearing this whilst drinking a can of beer and it all going up nose.

"Headmaster suspended for using big-faced child as satellite dish"

Grassygnome

Whereas Monty Python satirised everything, The Day Today fixated on one subject and it worked beyond expectation.
Which clips do I hunt down to watch repeatedly?

Morris' interviews with O'Hanraha-hanrahan
Partridge at the races
The Swimming Pool security guard
This once-used character that made me laugh:

I think it works best when the satire is not obvious - was never keen on the mock US news reports with Barbara Wintergreen. And Collaterlie Sisters' nonsense financial news was too obvious.

It still works well after 30 years.



greencalx

Having just completed a re-watch (first watch for the child) I would say that it's aged exceptionally well. Obviously some of the references to contemporary politicians and culture date it, but these are rarely essential to understanding the joke. The main thing the child missed was that it intermixed real and staged footage, which I guess is one of the aspects that made it feel so authentic despite the absurdity of the content.

Lots of wonderful touches and attention to detail throughout, particularly the graphics. To pick one example, the way an interviewee's job title that runs to three lines on-screen fades away just as you've read the second word. Everyone remembers 'fact times importance equals news' but what is often forgotten is what leads up to it ('The Day Today knows that although the earth looks round, it is in fact a cube. And from this we know that...') accompanied by an animation of a spherical earth morphing into a cube. Very much up there with the best of Gilliam's animations.

Given that mock news, docs, soaps, public information films and so on are very, very well worn, they did well to get six episodes without it feeling like they were treading old ground or flogging a dead horse (in the back of a Volvo). Possibly the Chapman Baxter sketches came closest to this, and personally I always found those to be a bit in bad taste (despite appreciating the effort to create an authentic-looking NTSC to PAL conversion). The obsession with executions possibly says more about the writers than the US news broadcasting of the era. I think Collaterlie Sisters was redeemed by the currency market devices: I often recall the currency arse or the currency Susan when visualising data.

I have however never understood why the 'In 1981, no-one died...' bit became so iconic. I always felt it really laboured and slowed down a sketch that was otherwise quite pacy had lots of great moments in it (like the swimming teacher eventually giving in to his class completely ignoring him with a resigned 'Free swim, free swim...'). Seemed to take up a lot of time for limited payoff, unlike "Cool is it?" and "John Fashanu", each crowned with a pitch-perfect Morris one-liner.

If there's one aspect I found expendable on the rewatch, it was the 'speak your brains' and 'your complaints' vox pops, which felt a bit cruel on the members of the general public concerned. Maybe I've gone woke? Herman the Tosser can stay in though, so maybe not.

And one thing that's bugged me since the very first watch. Why does 'An-tony' turn into 'An-thony' half way through the Office sketch?

Herman the Tosser is probably the only example I've seen of anyone, politician or otherwise, coming out of an interaction with Morris on top. He seems pretty much unflustered by what's being dishing out.

FredNurke

Quote from: greencalx on January 28, 2024, 07:06:07 PMAnd one thing that's bugged me since the very first watch. Why does 'An-tony' turn into 'An-thony' half way through the Office sketch?

I assumed Marber's character started doing it to get under his skin.

Quote from: clingfilm portent on January 29, 2024, 12:08:04 AMHerman the Tosser is probably the only example I've seen of anyone, politician or otherwise, coming out of an interaction with Morris on top. He seems pretty much unflustered by what's being dishing out.

I don't think any MP would have a go at someone they'd never heard of, prompted by a journalist they didn't know. Even the most reactionary twats in Westminster would refuse to touch Herman the Tosser with a bargepole.

I always loved the Speak Your Brains bits, but the more you re-watch them, you see that nobody involved is really saying anything that stupid. It's Morris at his absolute worst, punching down, exploiting people's nervousness and politeness, using tactics that wouldn't pass modern safeguarding protocol. The On the Hour equivalents are even worse in that regard. He's clearly targeted people who we'd now classify as vulnerable, and there's very obvious edits to make the people he interviewed seem even more "thick" and confused.

Grassygnome

Quote from: clingfilm portent on January 29, 2024, 12:08:04 AMHerman the Tosser is probably the only example I've seen of anyone, politician or otherwise, coming out of an interaction with Morris on top. He seems pretty much unflustered by what's being dishing out.
I'm no fan of Blair's brigade of MPs but I thought Boeteng handled the situation quite well.

shoulders

He did but it was still worth it for Hermann The Tosser.

The F Bomb

I rewatched it with my wife last year, she'd never seen it but we love loads of similar comedy, she absolutely adores Delocated, Partridge, Peep Show, Arrested Development, Nathan For You and loads more. We were both pretty stony-faced for most of the studio stuff besides Partridge and especially for Morris himself. The self-conscious weirdness and the absurd wordplay fell completely flat for me. The use of language was one of my favourite things about Morris but it kind of makes me cringe now. A lot of the recorded on-location segments are still brilliant but yeah, Morris himself, more clever/weird than funny here.


Glebe

Remember watching it with a friend when it first went out, we were just roaring with laughter and it felt like a really big thing, almost like the new Python or summit.

Here's the team reunited for the 25th anniversary:


shoulders

Quote from: The F Bomb on January 30, 2024, 06:36:58 AMThe self-conscious weirdness and the absurd wordplay fell completely flat for me. The use of language was one of my favourite things about Morris but it kind of makes me cringe now. A lot of the recorded on-location segments are still brilliant but yeah, Morris himself, more clever/weird than funny here.

Ugh

The Late Satoru Iwata

Coogan in that pic, magically finding the best lighting.

The F Bomb

Quote from: shoulders on February 04, 2024, 06:55:43 AMUgh

I was surprised. Very engaging performer but I didn't find 'Christopher Morris' funny.

greencalx

Took me ages to recognise Baynham.

popcorn

Quote from: clingfilm portent on January 29, 2024, 12:08:04 AMHerman the Tosser is probably the only example I've seen of anyone, politician or otherwise, coming out of an interaction with Morris on top. He seems pretty much unflustered by what's being dishing out.

I remember the drug dealer Morris to being about the only guy who would directly say "I don't know what you mean and you're not making sense".

Ferris

Quote from: popcorn on April 02, 2024, 01:02:46 AMI remember the drug dealer Morris to being about the only guy who would directly say "I don't know what you mean and you're not making sense".

In fairness, I'd bet there were dozens of interviews with people who said "what the fuck are you talking about mate?" that were cut.

The drug dealer one was only kept in because it was funny and/or made Morris look edgier because he was willing to go there*.

*there = south london

shoulders

Quote from: clingfilm portent on January 29, 2024, 12:08:04 AMHerman the Tosser is probably the only example I've seen of anyone, politician or otherwise, coming out of an interaction with Morris on top. He seems pretty much unflustered by what's being dishing out.

While that is true, Boateng still made accusations of "sexism, racism and homophobia" unprompted about artists he'd never heard of.

Morris cued him up with "I'm talking Bang, I'm talking guns, I'm talking about people like Uzi MC, the Blood Rap Movement....Hermann the Tosser"


BJBMK2

Quote from: Ferris on April 02, 2024, 01:21:01 AMIn fairness, I'd bet there were dozens of interviews with people who said "what the fuck are you talking about mate?" that were cut.

The drug dealer one was only kept in because it was funny and/or made Morris look edgier because he was willing to go there*.

*there = south london

There was also the snippet he'd play sometimes on his R1 show, that was a good example of showing his knickers in public.

Morris: "What sort of problems can it cause? Fiddling with thiiiiings?"
Man: "...Why are you talking strangely?"

greenman

Quote from: Grassygnome on January 27, 2024, 10:33:09 PMI think it works best when the satire is not obvious - was never keen on the mock US news reports with Barbara Wintergreen.

I think those segments almost end up as a satire of a satire of US news, pushing it SO far over the top into fun silliness rather than "look how much smarter we are than the dumb yanks" kind of stuff.

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